Less than 24 hours after some youths clashed in Ajah area of Lagos State, the violence resurfaced on Wednesday as two people were feared dead in the clash which lasted for three hours.
PUNCH Metro had reported on Wednesday that the clash was as a result of a long-standing feud between rival youth groups in Ilaje end of Lekki-Epe Expressway and Ajah.
The police authorities had held a meeting with the community leaders of Ajah and Ilaje on Tuesday night. But despite that, it was alleged that youths from Ajah stormed Ilaje and attacked their counterparts with guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons.
It was learnt that some vehicles and houses in Ilaje were set ablaze in the violence.
A youth in Ilaje, who wished not to be named, told our correspondent that the violence had escalated because of the failure of the police to make arrests in the past, giving the youth the impetus to take laws into their own hands.
He said, “The thugs in Ajah usually come to Ilaje to oppress us. They come to extort money from commercial vehicles and even shop owners in our area and usually whenever we want to disperse them, violence breaks out. Most times, when police come, they just disperse the youth instead of arresting them and this has been going on for long.
“Around 8am on Wednesday, scores of youths came to Ilaje and burnt vehicles as well as houses. Most of them wielded cutlasses but two of them had guns and two people were shot bduring the clash.”
It was learnt that policemen attached to the Rapid Response Squad and Area J, rushed down to the scene around 11am and fired teargas to disperse the youth.
It could however not be confirmed as at press time if the shot victims died.
The incident caused panic and left commuters stranded for hours as commercial vehicle drivers refused to convey passengers to Ajah. It also caused a traffic snarl from the spot down to Lekki as vehicles turned back in order to avoid being caught in the crossfire.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, said houses and vehicles were burnt at Ilaje, adding that two gun-wielding youths had been arrested.
She said, “On Tuesday night, the area commander had a meeting with the community leaders and it was adjourned. To our surprise, the following morning, we received a distress call that houses and vehicles were being burnt at Ilaje.
“Policemen from different formations arrived the scene and arrested two youths with pump-action rifles. They have been transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad at command headquarters. Meanwhile, another meeting will be held on Thursday.”